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Re-integration of Culture and Politics: A Re-interpretation of Mao Zedong’s ‘Yan’an Talks’

 

 

Xiaoping Wang

 

Abstract

This paper aims to re-evaluate Mao’s ‘Yan’an Talks’ by reading it against the social-historical concreteness to examine its historical particularity as well as its political universality. It traces the historical origin of this speech, and then discusses Mao’s vision of the new historical subject of ‘the people’ to be served, as well as his idea of the proper way to deal with and create a new culture for this subject. After a work is produced, the criterion to evaluate it brings out the two dimensions of any literature and culture in a class society, namely its class nature and aesthetic standard. All of these critical inquiries point to the most idiosyncratic feature of Mao’s vision (which is simultaneously the most salient character of modern Chinese culture): the intricate interaction and mutual pollination between culture and politics. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the whole treatise is predicated upon the war-time exigency to produce a culture facilitating the success of military struggle, but it also shows Mao’s preliminary consideration of creating a pro-socialist culture.

 

Keywords

Yan’an Talks, New Culture, Politics, Cultural Hegemony, Socialist Culture

 

From: Critiquer 2017 45 (3)

Editor: Wang Yi

 

发布时间:2018-01-26 09:42:00